Study Guide

A Day No Pigs Would Die Chapter 15

By Robert Newton Peck

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Chapter 15

  • Keep those tissues out, folks. Papa lives through the winter, but he dies in his sleep in early spring.
  • Rob discovers the body in the barn, then goes on to do his chores—feeding and watering the animals, collecting the hens' eggs—before going into the house to tell Mama and Aunt Carrie.
  • Rob goes into town to fetch the undertaker, stopping to spread the word on the way.
  • He comforts his mother and digs his father's grave himself.
  • Then he keeps working on a plowshare that he and Papa had been fixing the day before.
  • Rob spends some time looking at his father's tools in the toolshed, and he thinks about his father's hands holding each one.
  • And how's this for heart wrenching: he sees a scrap of paper where his father had been trying to write his name.
  • As he gets dressed for the funeral, Rob is frustrated because he doesn't have any good clothes that fit him.
  • Rob greets the neighbors as they come for the funeral, and they treat him like the man of the family.
  • Many people come, including Papa's boss.
  • Rob thinks about all the people who've come to Papa's funeral, and concludes that Papa "wasn't rich[,] [b]ut by damn he wasn't poor" (15.31).
  • After Rob says a few quick words at the funeral, the coffin is lowered into the ground and the guests take their leave.
  • Rob does a few more chores around the house, then has supper with Mama and Aunt Carrie.
  • After supper, he goes for a walk, knowing he won't be able to sleep yet.
  • He walks to the fresh grave, says goodnight to his father, and walks away. Looks like this kid has grown up—and fast.

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